Best things to do in Bariloche
Find out more about those top places in Bariloche
Stretching along the shoreline of the majestic Lago Nahuel Huapi, Bariloche is the beating heart of Argentina’s Lake District. While the town has now outgrown its original Germanic-style historic center, Bariloche remains one of Argentina’s most charming towns with an assortment of chocolate box alpine architecture. However, the main draw of Bariloche is not the architecture, the surrounding glacial peaks of the Cerro Catedral massif offer some of South America’s best skiing and snowboarding while in summer the forested foothills are laced with a sophisticated network of hiking trails that make exploring the vast wilderness relatively simple.
Covering nearly 8000 square kilometers of some of Argentina’s most astonishing scenery, Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi is undoubtedly Bariloche’s main draw. The park’s star attraction is the vast lake of the same name where you can take boat tours that provide spectacular vistas of the glacial peaks and start a variety of hikes, some of which are multi-day epics that take you deep into the wilderness. Beyond this, the rafting on the Río Limay is one of the park’s most thrilling activities.
Just southwest of Bariloche is Argentina’s premier snow sports resort, Cerro Catedral. Rising to nearly 2500 meters, the peak of the same name is one of the most spectacular in the area and is clad in the winter with many kilometers of perfectly groomed piste. During the summer months the resort is still worth visiting, as the Cerro Bellavista cable-car offers breathtaking views and is the starting point for Alpine hikes.
One of the most popular day tours from Bariloche is to the tranquil Victoria Island, just off the coast of the Llao Llao Peninsula. The pine and birch-clad island is simply enchanting and make sure to be on the lookout for pudu – the world’s smallest species of deer.
The southernmost reaches of Argentina were a popular destination for German immigration during the 19th and early 20th centuries and historical walking tours of Bariloche reveal this fascinating history. These tours offer insights into the town’s unique Bavarian architecture, its German cultural clubs and its dark history as a refuge for high-ranking Nazis following the Second World War.
Try the gastronomic delights of Patagonia on ever-popular regional food tours in Bariloche, which let you get a taste for empanadas, fondue, smoked meats and wheat beers. Tours are conducted at a number of local restaurants and will leave you coming back for more.
The snow-capped peak of Mount Tronador is the highest in the Bariloche region at 3500 meters and forms the breathtaking boundary between Argentina and Chile. Tours of the spectacular peak let you hike up Alpine hillsides and marvel at the ‘black glacier’, which is one of the area’s unique natural wonders.